Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish.
This week's topic is:
Top Ten Books for Halloween
Kayla's skipping this week, since scary books aren't her forte. Truthfully they're not exactly mine, either, but I shall try my best!
1. Four Past Midnight by Stephen King
My boyfriend's only just got me into King, and while I'm not a huge fan of his endings (big surprise), he definitely has a way with the creep factor, doesn't he? It's not often I get legitimately unnerved by a book, but one story in particular in here - The Library Policeman gave me the willies enough that I had to watch something cheery before bed. Well, the first half of it, anyway.
2. House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski
If I could ever recommend a book for its creep and odd factor, it would be House of Leaves. It's long, and has its dry spots, but the core story is relentlessly interesting and genuinely unnerving. I have an unreasonable affection for this book, possibly because it's one of the few that could be described as an actual experience. For the best effect, try reading with Poe's Haunted playing in the background. She's the author's sister, and created a whole album to go along with her brother's book. It's all very awesome!
3. Road to Madness by H.P. Lovecraft
It should go without saying that Lovecraft is an excellent Halloween mood-setter. Are there creepier stories anywhere? If there are, I haven't read them.
4. The Hunter by L.J. Smith
Okay, so, yes this is paranormal romance, but the first time I read this book as a kid? SO CREEPED OUT I CAN'T EVEN TELL YOU. Reading at night about phantom footsteps on the roof and windows slamming shut and a clock striking twelve...especially when your father COLLECTS cuckoo clocks that like to strike right on cue... *shudder* That particular sequence still creeps me out if I read it at night.
5. Wrong Number by R.L. Stine
Okay, okay, he's a terrible writer, but I spent the late '90's lost in Fear Street, and when you're like eight - ten years old, this is the scariest shit ever. This one sticks out in my mind even now as the creepiest of the Fear Street bunch. I'll admit it, I had to sleep with my mom the night I read this. SO CREEPY. Stine's Halloween Party is a close runner-up, though!
6. Night Shift by Stephen King
My King experience is limited to the two books on this list, but hey, he's seasonally appropriate, and while Night Shift has an abundance of misses, the hits are home runs. His best stories aren't about monsters, they're about humans - their cruelties, their failings, and the horrific situations we can find ourselves in in everyday life. My favorite? The final story The Woman in the Room. That was truly horrifying.
7. The Taking by Dean Koontz
The Taking is my very favorite Koontz book, probably because it reminds me of my very favorite creepy game series, Silent Hill. It's got a great mood, and interesting themes and ideas. And did I mention it reminds me of Silent Hill, which is the best video game series ever?
8. Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark series by Alvin Schwartz
If there's a better collection of all the classic scary stories and urban legends that we learned fear and love as kids, I don't know of it. In elementary school, we traded stories from this series like Pokemon cards, and our teachers read the books aloud in class. Everyone liked this series, and with good reason. Even now, this is a nostalgic favorite.
9. Tales for the Midnight Hour by J.B. Stamper
This is sort of an early, poor-man's Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark, but its got a few decent shorts. However, I still have this book, and not long ago forced Kayla to read it for one story that can still creep me out if I read it late at night in front of an open window. It's called The Puzzle, and if you haven't read it, you need to. Now. CREEPY CITY.
10. Tales of the Slayer vol. 1
Laugh if you want, but while this book isn't creepy, it's definitely got its share of gruesome and actually quite fascinating stories. It's all about the Slayers through history, before Buffy, and in this first installment, we get short stories featuring Elizabeth Bathory, murderous werewolf Spartans, and Marie Antoinette. Very few of the tales are light-hearted, and most play out like short horror stories. Either way, they're all very good, and a great Halloween read.
Bonus Halloween Treats
Game: Silent Hill 2
Scary at any time of the year, but in October with the lights off and the volume high? I'm pretty sure you'll pee yourself. I would. If you're looking for a genuinely scary in-house experience over Halloween, pick up Silent Hill 2. Scariest game of all time.